Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Looking for a New American Vision

I believe in America. I admit our problems. I have faith that, as in our past, we will work through them and come out better for the struggle. Much of our history involves mistakes, owning up to them, and learning from them. We aren't perfect, that is not why I have hope for us. I hope for America because we are imperfect, mostly well intentioned, and practiced at recovering from embarrassing and ugly mistakes. That is a strength. That is the strength of our diverse and often impassioned union. We can adjust and grow. We have. We do. We will.

An additional point: belief in America is not belief in any one administration. I believe in America, my loyalty lies there, not with an administration. We, the people of this nation, are the government; we are America.

We are not dependants, or wards of the state. We are the state. We hold the authority to make change. We've lent it to an administration for a time. We can take it back when we feel we must. The American on the street has a voice. Is this mobocracy? Maybe, but in the midst of our seeming choas remains the freedom to change. We are America, we are the state, and we are good people with good intentions.

We are hindered by partisanship. A useless divisive partisanship. Distinct opinions and differences are valuable and intrinsic to the nation but only when topically meaningful. Consensus and compromise need to come back into vogue in political circles, but before they do we must lead the way in our personal political discussions. We lead the way. We are represented. If we have no personal direction and vision, then how will we be directed by the leaders we've lent our vote? They'll be left leading us by fear and suspision.

The new American vision is ours to craft. We can do more than complain. We can expect and hope, and argue out a workable vision of the future that we will be proud of. We empower our leaders. We employ our leaders, to represent our vision of America. We must set the example for positive change, among ourselves. In our conversations we should practice consensus. Let's practice coming to agreement from diversity of disposition.

Consensus and compromise, when dealing with constructive investigations on how to make change in our country, yes. How to change our own minds. I'm a partison in my belief in and hope for this country's future - that is the political isle I see no benefit in crossing.

Loyalty can be as critical and cutting as it can be positive and healing, but loyalty has hope and finds reason to believe that the America two decades from now will be superior to the America of today. Perfect? Nope. Better? That is the hope.

Our discussions matter, even in miniature, because we are the electorate and we set the direction for this country. We lend our leaders a vote, we do not give it to them. We guarentee to take it back when their rightful term is over. They lead because we suffer them to. They should fear us, not the reverse.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

The Utility of Prayer

I'm impressed by the pervasive use of prayer, wondering often how practitioners conceive of it so that its use survives all circumstance.

I've heard all the chruch explanations and exhortations to prayer. I've heard it called, having a conversation with god. I prefer my conversations to be two sided. The response to this would involve something about being quiet in your prayer closet and waiting for him to speak or something encouraging you to hear him in the many ways he speaks, directly and indirectly. Inevitably indirect communication from god will convientiently linked to other christians.

So, after all this wondering and rote answer I'm left with the impression that a praying person opens up in prayer and reachs out to his god, who in turn does not respond but in the most subtle and hard to decypher manner. The need to believe that god responds is so strong that any situation can be explained away, even with the thinnest viel of reason, or biblical support.

As the praying christian progresses he has to answer all these questions for himself. There is no open conversation about the reality of prayer and the inconsistancies of our experience with the biblical example. Even bring the nature of prayer into question and you will be put down. Those around you will quote the most trite and rote responses, as if you were just born and not sitting in the same class with them for years. Usually this is humiliating and quiets the questioner. If it does not they will begin to look for some flaw or problem in your life, so that they can understand that you are "having a tough time" or just need to "refresh your faith". See the shift? It soon begins to be about your faith. Instead of trying to understand your question you will soon be softly excluded from those members in good standing. Your voice will now be suspect. Your faith is weak or in crisis.

It is not only salvation that you are expected to take on blind faith, but all the modern tenents of the religion. These tenents change over time and in each time they are held sacrosant, as if they were the same tenents and beliefs held by the disciples themself. This particular dulusion could easily be solved by a good study of church history, but this is not a popular topic.

What is the utility of prayer? Why have we done it for so long? Why do we do it?

How can well meaning christians still quote, "ask and you shall receive" and apply it to prayer?

They don't even try to believe that he will respond directly. This simply can not stand up to experience. So they look for subtle environmental clues. The results of a prayer request can survive experience because they will assume any outcome is the one provided by god, even when its the opposite of what they ask for. Minor mental gymnastics can make this all a loving, if cryptic, dialog between fatherly god and loving but weak followers.

The reason questioning is not practiced or approved is the fragile nature of some of these beliefs. They are easily lost. They rest of thin crusts of logic that are too easily dissolved. So these persons of prayer skate blissfully on thin ice and banish anyone from the pond asking if this is all a good idea or not.

Jesus ask you to believe in him. The church will only believe you do if you believe in them too.

Transmissions from Frank

Frank’s Message to Mrs. Tingier’s Fifth Grade Science Class

There is some seriously perverted shit going on in space. Take away the effect of a basic law of physics and people get very creative. Sure scientists and technicians have made great use of absolute freezing and zero G. “Fusion fuels space™”, right? That’s why I’m up here, that’s why the controlling AI is up here, and that’s why you’ll spend five minutes to hear me grate on your tender sensibilities. All that is fine and good and supports the flaccid utopian time sink, you’re all so enthused about, but the majority of time spent in space and I mean the vast majority, is spent in shameless and unabashed genital stimulation. We are an inventive species. I keep to myself for the most part, but I’ve accidentally ponged my way into one of these low g areas they use. They don’t like zero G, most of them need a little gravity assisted friction to make it work. So they tend to congregate on the outer edge of the stations where there is nearly a quarter of a G. They think they’re so clever, they call these “G spots”, search on that term with “space” or “station” and you’ll get way more hits than you’d imagine.

On the other hand, don’t. It’s disgusting. These perverts live healthier and longer than any other humans in the history of mankind, but their minds are so wet with rot, they must itch like a mother fucker. In space we really have the extremes; we achieved the creation of a sentient AI, which propelled humanity into a peaceful period now in its third century, where the only commodity left, the only currency left to us is time, and how do we spend our precious time, copulation. It makes me want to suck a case of tubes just thinking about our goddamned good luck. There was a moral lesson in there somewhere, find it yourself, I’m tired and don’t think a single one of you will make anything out of your lives that doesn’t involve vaginal fluids.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Religious Architecture

Architecture can communicate the purpose a building served, and indirectly the type of people who took shelter there.

Religious understandings and truths, meaning the buildings we construct across the edge of the map, serve many purposes; a common one being coping with suffering. This has been historically beneficial to many religions, and you can see this in the way they have been constructed. Religions, as modernly conceived, are essentially slave philosophies; they serve the needs of the oppressed and suffering everywhere.

We should study the buildings we live in and make sure they still provide the shelter we need.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Transmissions from Frank

Frank’s Message to Ms. Dowtree’s Substance Abuse Class

Zero G demands that alcohol be consumed in tubes. You squeeze oblivion into your mouth. It’s not drinking. It’s sucking. The tubes are well designed, as you would expect, and quite the collectors item dirt-side. I used to bring them home to my kids after a trip. Other dads bring back t-shirts and stuffed animals. I bring back empty single malt scotch tubes. Always a huge hit at the kid’s show-and-tell. Actually you have to be a bit of a drinker to suck the tubes; most of the normals take their pill in Jello or pudding form, much friendlier in low gravity. The die-hards and the connoisseurs suck the tubes.

I’m a die-hard; just can’t adjust. Yeah, I’m high tech. I’m one of the few people with skills worth keeping in orbit, but when it comes to drinking, or “coping” as my personalized morning psych mantra calls it, I’m old fashioned. I like to get “ping-pong” drunk, and then feel like shit for two days. For those below, “ping-pong drunk” is like stumbling drunk but in zero G its all about controlling your float and managing hand holds. Get drunk enough and that is no easy task. Push off a wall too aggressively and your head is cushioning your shoulder’s blow against a bulk head. Then you spin off and bowl down a hand-holding line of school children. That’s ping-ponging.

Drinking used to be sophisticated. Long after smoking became a shun-able offense, drinking persisted with style. Of course, as my morning brain washing reminds me, that was a very long time ago, and it’s very unhealthy whether from a tube, a bottle or a jiggling cube of Jello.

“The only person I’m hurting is my self.” Every time this unwanted line of reason drags its limp cock through my brain I drop everything I’m doing, yell “damn right” and get disgustingly drunk. The best part is how foul one drunk can make the air on a small space station. Juvenile? Yes, it damn sure is and I’m not proud of it, but it’s my coping mechanism and I’m not giving it up just because you bunch of Nazi fucks make faces at me. I know how important bowel control is on a space station, but somehow you still keep me in orbit. I guess its not that important, now is it?

Friday, February 10, 2006

cherry pit pillows warm

I received this poem today from AGF. She's a german musician, poet, producer that I enjoy. Check her out.

in between winter and winter
lets make our own
cherry pit pillows warm

break away music
awareness from morning on:
everybody is a disaster

look at me
.what i do. during the time
extract from existing

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Thoughts on Force and Power

Force is the ability to make change. My force is limited, but renewable. Power is the rate of this renewal. My power is not constant; it fluctuates within a defined range. Environment, especially physical and mental habit, affects the rate of renewal.

Force and power are limited, but with the will to use what is possessed an individual can maximize his potential.

Take Advantage

Force can not always be exerted. We must rest, and so we must learn to be contented: Contented between exertions of force, between expressions of power. Constant expenditure leaves only the capability for the smallest changes, leaving the powerful barely potent.

Some men, living without rest, living with constant acts of change, forget what it feels like to be powerful. They begin to doubt they are powerful at all. These too kinetic men begin to feel impotent and weak, irresistibly dreaming of large scale change and just as irresistibly sinking back into the couch to change a channel, or fill a fresh bowl.

Learn to be content in turn with disturbed. If you don’t enjoy what you’ve wrought you’ll soon forget why you fight. A loss of vision is another sign of exhaustion.

We are finite. If you don’t respect your limits, you’ll be the fool running into the cell door, bloody smears and pass out.

We are finite, but not as small as we make ourselves. Learn to be content in turn, and you won’t ruin yourself for something less than a great purpose.